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Newcastle, Royal Victoria Infirmary
Health and Welfare
The new Royal Victoria Infirmary was built using donations from Mr John Hall and Lord Armstrong, on a ten acre site at Castle Leazes, provided by the Freemen and Newcastle Corporation. Work began in 1900 and the new hospital was opened by Edward VII on July 11th 1906. Patients, staff and equipment were moved from the Old Infirmary (HER 1371) on Forth Banks on 15th September 1906. Architects were William Lister Newcombe of Newcastle and H. Percy Adams of London. The central east-west corridor traversed the ground floor from the nurse's home at the western end of the site to the outpatients department at the east. The administrative block, Peacock Hall occupied the centre of the south-western frontage. On either side of the central corridor were secondary corridors to two floors of wards and operating theatres. Each ward had 24 beds, a room for clinical investigations, a linen room, a day room, a kitchen and a sister's room. They had polished teak parquet floors and cement walls, enamel-painted with a tiled dado rail. The hospital chapel was dedicated to St. Luke. With the outbreak of the First World War, the RVI became a unit of the First Northern General Hospital and two temporary surgical wards were added. Towards the end of the War, the Ministry of Pensions Hospital was added to the RVI, consisting of 3 brick pavilions and wooden huts. The brick buildings were later converted into wards for private patients and became known as Leazes Hospital. In 1933 two new wards were added to replace the temporary wartime wards. A new residential block was also built in the grounds. 2003-2008 much of the old hospital buildings were demolished to make way for a new adult hospital, children's hospital, 2 office buildings and education building. The old hospital buildings were recorded before demolition.
P. Winter, D. Milne, J. Brown and A. Rushworth, 1989, Northern Heritage - Newcastle upon Tyne, page 159; The Brigantia Archaeological Practice, 2006, Archaeological Recording at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne; J.A. Hanson, 1923, The Royal Victoria Infirmary: An Epitome; W.E. Hume, 1951, The Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne: A brief sketch; G.H. Hume, 1906, History of the Newcastle Infirmary; N. Pevsner et al, 1992, The Buildings of England: Northumberland; Lynn Redhead, 1996, Hospitals; www.heatonhistorygroup.org/2015/04/17/newcastles-war-hospitals